Lara decided That she wanted to try a new recipe earlier last month. Typically we both cook on the fly, rarely using any recipes except perhaps as inspiration. Sometimes it can be helpful however, to actually follow someone else’s recipe to get new ideas regarding flavor combinations, how to use a certain ingredient, or how to use a whole new ingredient. This can really broaden your cooking repertoire and excite your cooking a bit!
This mixed bean salad really was amazing. It is so so fresh, and has such a great combination of flavors and textures. Great make ahead summer salad that isn’t the same old same old.
We took this salad out to Grand Haven to have a picnic on the pier before starting our “real jobs” in August, 2019. It was perfect.
Crunchy Mixed-Bean Salad with Celery and Tarragon
From Six Seasons; A New Way with Vegetables by Joshua McFadden
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
1/2 pound wax beans, green beans, or a mix, trimmed
2 cups shell beans, preferably a mix of types I ended up using white beans and chickpeas
4 to 6 medium inner celery stalks with leaves attached
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, thick stems trimmed off and reserved, leaves left whole
1/2 cup lightly packed tarragon leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch scallions, trimmed (including 1/2 inch off the green tops), thinly sliced, soaked in ice water for 20 minutes, and drained well
1/2 cup roughly chopped pepperoncini, plus a splash of pickling liquid I used a red jalapeno, sliced thin, and some vinegar, it worked great, and the red pepper added beautiful color
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped
4 soft-cooked eggs
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add salt until it tastes like the sea. Add the wax beans and boil for just about 1 minute (longer if the beans are mature); you want the beans to be crisp-tender. Drain and immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking. Pat dry.
Pile the wax beans into a large bowl. Add the shell beans.
Roughly chop the leaves on the celery stalks, then cut the stalks crosswise at a sharp angle into 1/4-inch pieces and add all to the bowl of beans. Measure out half the parsley stems, trim off the dried ends of the stems, and very finely slice them crosswise, as you would chives. Add the parsley stems, leaves, and the tarragon to the bowl, along with the scallions and pepperoncini, plus a splash of the pickling liquid. Gently mix all the ingredients. Grate the lemon zest into the bowl, add the capers, season generously with black pepper, add about 1/2 cup olive oil, and toss again. Tear the eggs into pieces and distribute over the bowl.
When you’re ready to serve, give the salad a final spritz of lemon juice.